John Charles "Jack" Corbitt, a retired insurance sales manager who had played golf since he was 14, died of Parkinson's disease complications Friday at Coastal Hospice in Salisbury. The Ocean Pines resident was 71.
Born in Baltimore and raised on Collins Avenue in Irvington, Mr. Corbitt began caddying at the Rolling Road Country Club in Catonsville as an 11-year-old.
Family members said that initially he did not like the game, but he soon began playing. He used secondhand golf clubs and captured the Maryland Scholastic Association Golf Championship at 16.
The next year, he shot a 74 at the Baltimore Country Club to win the Maryland Junior Open Championship.
After graduation from Calvert Hall College High School in 1954, Mr. Corbitt won a four-year golf scholarship to the University of Maryland, College Park.
He attended for a year and then enlisted in the Army and served in Germany.
Mr. Corbitt joined the Monumental Life Insurance Co. in 1958 and rose to become a sales manager.
He retired in 1998 and became active as a jobs placement specialist with the Baltimore Association of Retarded Citizens, now the ARC of Baltimore.
"He would only approach potential employers after he had gotten to know the specific skills his client possessed," said his brother, Donald Corbitt of Catonsville. "He wanted to assure a satisfactory match for both parties."
After living in Lutherville for many years, Mr. Corbitt retired to Ocean Pines. He worked at the Rum Pointe Golf Course in Berlin as a ranger.
His brother said that until Parkinson's disease began to stiffen Mr. Corbitt's swing, he continued to play a competitive game and made enough birdies to come home with the feeling, "I gave it my best shot."
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church, 315 N. Constitution Ave., New Freedom, Pa.
In addition to his brother, survivors include his wife of 48 years Jeannette La Voie; a son, John Nilus Corbitt of Rosedale; a daughter, Janine Harney of Stewartstown, Pa.; a sister, Anne Jane "Nancy" Corbett of Ocean Pines; two granddaughters; and two great-grandsons.